The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mardi Gras contingent will lead the way on climate change this year.

Members of the Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander gay, lesbian, transgender and Sistergirl community have enlisted the services of Melbourne-based group Climate Positive to offset their carbon emissions for the event.

ACON Mardi Gras coordinator and float organiser Shaun Edwards said the ideals behind the float were significant.

“We feel that it is important as indigenous people from this land to take the lead towards caring for our country by neutralising the carbon emissions that will be produced,” he said.

“We want to make sure that our Aboriginal knowledge and traditional culture are a part of the float, because they are a part of us.”

The group will calculate the float’s carbon footprint, taking into account the truck and vehicle being used, and every individual’s means of transport to the event. Climate Change will offset this, through a project they have running which stops carbon production, as well as a tree-planting scheme.

“Mardi Gras is a great opportunity for us to make known to all the participants and people in all parts of the country that we are taking responsibility for what we are doing to the environment, and that should be a message which applies to all events – from concerts to cricket matches, it’s not just for Mardi Gras.”

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